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How to Manage Osteoporosis with Exercise

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seniors doing yoga outdoors

Aging, obesity, and chronic health conditions, among other things, can lead to limited mobility and strength. And these issues can in turn contribute to spine, muscle, and joint problems.

Starting at age 30, our bones decline in density. And if bone mass gets dangerously low, it’s called osteoporosis. Physical exercise, particularly if it’s weight-bearing, can help you better manage osteoporosis, including its side effects.

According to the Report on Ageing and Health 2015, a spine, muscle, and joint report prepared for the World Health Organization (WHO), osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and sarcopenia (muscle loss) affect millions. And in Canada, osteoporosis affects two million Canadians, but many people only get diagnosed after they break a bone.

For many, spine, muscle, and joint problems start with mild symptoms, such as joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. As a result, the discomfort may prompt you to limit activity, leading to weaker muscles. You end up losing more range of motion and things start to increasingly hurt.

Using muscles and joints incorrectly makes it worse. And unfortunately, people may stop exercising and begin limiting their everyday activities. An inactive lifestyle can contribute to many chronic conditions, including osteoporosis. Inactivity can also lead to balance issues, which puts you at risk of falling. Plus, people who have multiple conditions must often juggle a wide range of medications and all their potential side effects.

These conditions can lead to severe outcomes, such as falls that shorten your lifespan. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.

What Exercises Help Manage Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis?

Being physically active can turn things around for those with conditions such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. That’s the power of exercise.

Exercise impacts health, but it must be the right exercise. Controlled movements that build strength and range of motion are ideal. A combination of activities, such as swimming, cardio gym machines, and low-impact aerobics, can be effective. However, weight-bearing exercise works best to help you manage osteoporosis.

For those whose range of motion is limited, yoga and Pilates can be helpful, along with further support from chiropractic care, massage therapy, and physiotherapy.

The right activity for the right person can make a big difference. Dr. John Antoniou, an orthopaedic surgeon and former president of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association, says: “You won’t reverse the damage that’s occurred, but it’ll maintain the function that’s still there.”

Exercise can help you manage osteoporosis to slow the rate of bone loss that comes with this age-related bone disease. It can also reverse some age-related muscle mass loss. With less pain, stronger muscles, and better balance, you’ll find you can do much more.

senior woman lifting weights

Where does chiropractic care fit in?

A chiropractor can prescribe a therapeutic exercise program to help increase your strength and range of motion in affected areas. This program can include stretching, strengthening, postural awareness, balance training, and neuromuscular exercise. However, exercise as a therapy to help manage osteoporosis can be challenging because your instinct is to stop moving once you have mild pain. An integrated approach between a medical doctor who is supporting patients with chronic health conditions and a chiropractor assisting in managing the muscle, spine, and joint components will help you become more active.

While the mentality is often to stop doing an activity because it hurts, when it comes to arthritis, you need to push through discomfort but stop when you feel true pain. Guidance from health care professionals on “hurt versus harm” can make sure exercise is healing, not hurting.

If you don’t enjoy traditional exercise, such as going to the gym, try focusing on doing everyday life activities such as walking, gardening, and playing golf.

Currently, only one in five Canadian seniors get the recommended 150 minutes of activity per week. With help from a healthcare professional, like a chiropractor and your integrated care team, you can break this pattern to manage age-related conditions like osteoporosis better.


To learn more about how chiropractic care and massage therapy can help you manage your osteoporosis, contact the Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage Therapy Clinic at 905-427-3202 and book a consultation with a member of our wellness team.

 

With content from the Ontario Chiropractic Association

Four Beginner Yoga Poses to Help Prevent Lower Back Pain

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image of women sitting down in yoga class

Do you struggle with low back pain? The relief you’ve been looking for may be a little farther than the medicine cabinet but as close as your local community centre or yoga studio.

If you spend a lot of time hunched over a computer keyboard, it’s not surprising that your back often suffers. While it may be difficult to fight the urge to reach for a quick fix in the form of pain-numbing pills, medication offers short-term relief without solving the problem.

Aside from headaches, low back pain is one of the most common complaints of Canadians today. In addition to stress-related causes, this pain may also be due to overuse or injuries such as those occurring after rigorous physical activity, or a mild-to-serious car accident.

Together with chiropractic, yoga offers another way to prevent low back pain by strengthening your core muscles.

Yoga consists of an extensive set of exercises (or poses) designed to promote muscle strength, flexibility and proper breathing. It has been studied as a treatment for lower back pain; carpal tunnel syndrome; osteoarthritis of the hands; depression; asthma; hypertension; and many more conditions.

There are various poses which can help relieve low back pain, and even just a few minutes of yoga on a regular basis can reduce pain and strengthen your core abdominal muscles.

As well as strengthening core muscles, yoga is also helpful if there are psychological factors involved in your back pain. The act of doing these poses promotes relaxation and calmness, which relieves the mental stress and anxiety that might have eventually lead to more back pain.

In addition to the mind-body connection, yoga also focuses on the spine.

In accordance with Dr. Noble and Dr. Fera’s chiropractic principles, many of the body’s aches and pains can be attributed to the misalignment of vertebrae. Yoga is a proven natural way to decrease your back pain, strengthen your core, and improve your overall sense of well-being. Doing yoga properly and having regular chiropractic care ensures a reduction of pain and treatment.

Yoga can be an effective and gentle tool to help manage your lower back pain. Its many benefits include relief from pain, stress and anxiety – it’s also fun and challenging!

Yoga can help you reduce muscle tension, increase flexibility and strength while improving your balance. Remember to warm up before trying yoga: you want to help your back pain, not make it worse.

Here is a list of yoga poses that are great for beginners and can be done at home! Always listen to your body and do not continue a pose if it is painful. If you’re unsure if yoga is right for you or feel pain once you try it, talk to your chiropractor.

Downward Dog strengthens the shoulders, core, back and legs while promoting back flexibility.

Warrior Pose helps separate hip and leg movement from pelvic and low back mobility.

Cobra Pose helps strengthen your shoulders and back while promoting flexibility in the upper back.

Pyramid Pose strengthens your legs and spine and teaches body awareness on how to hinge and move from the hip joint.

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The wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage encourages you to improve your overall health by making exercise a part of your daily routine. If you want to learn more about managing your health with exercise, contact our clinic today at 905-427-3202.

 

 

With content from the Ontario Chiropractic Association and the Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Initiative.

Avoid the Urge to “Fall Back” Into Old Habits

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This past weekend, Daylight Savings Time ended and once again, we find ourselves in the dark by 5 p.m. As we approach the winter solstice, with shorter days and colder temperatures, it’s tempting to stay indoors and do things that bring us comfort, like reading books and watching movies. Unfortunately, these activities often leave us sedentary.

The importance of staying active

When we are not as active as we are in the summer, it affects the balance of chemicals produced in the body that impacts how we feel pain and pleasure: our endorphins.

Endorphins are produced by the body to respond to things like stress, fear, or discomfort. They interact with the parts of your brain responsible for your emotional responses and sensitivity to pain. Endorphins are responsible for your feelings of pleasure and are involved in your built-in reward system linked to eating, drinking, sexual activity, and maternal behaviour.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help boost the level of endorphins in your body. One of those things is exercise.

Exercise encourages the body to produce more endorphins.

For example, sometimes runners experience a “runner’s high” level of vitality after a workout. The same experience can be had by anyone after an extended period of physical exercise. There are other benefits to working your body physically: exercise can give you more energy throughout the day, allowing you to sleep better at night and feel more relaxed. It also helps the brain repair and recover, reduces inflammation in the body, and helps you feel calm and have an overall sense of well-being.

The good news is that you can replicate these positive sensations by taking steps to add a bit more exercise to your day. Any activity leaving you out of breath for bouts of 10 minutes or more throughout the week can help you fend off the winter blues.

Other ways to boost endorphins

It’s not just exercise that helps your body boost endorphins: regular meditation, yoga, and tai chi help to decrease stress hormones and increase endorphins. Not only that, simple pleasures such as love, laughter, sunshine, and chocolate all increase endorphins as well.

Take care of yourself during the cold-weather months.

There are lots of ways to make the short winter days a little brighter. The wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage encourages you to make your physical and mental health a priority.

We provide our patients with more than just chiropractic and massage therapy services, but also the know-how to build better personal wellness habits so you can be at your best for work or play, every day.

To book an appointment or learn more about the chiropractic and therapeutic massage therapy services available at our clinic, call 905-427-3202.

 

With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association.

 

 

 

Try These Activities to Minimize Stress and Help Prevent Back Pain

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exercise for better health ajax pickering chiropractor

It’s no secret that staying active is a great way to help keep your body and your spine healthy. In fact, going for a brisk 10-minute walk each day is enough to help improve your health and prevent conditions of the spine, joints and supporting structures of the body.

There are also a few other recreational activities that you can incorporate into your daily routine to prevent back pain and reduce stress.

Here are a few suggestions:

Yoga and Pilates

yoga for back pain ajax pickering chiropractor

Yoga and Pilates are forms of exercise that typically focus on moving the body while focusing on breathing and body awareness. The poses are purposeful and usually work a few areas of the body at once, including the back and leg muscles to build a stronger foundation for other movements.

Also, the poses often focus on balance which can be important to prevent falls and injuries as we age. Compared to higher impact activities that cause added strain to the body, yoga and Pilates are known to be ‘safe’ for healthy and even injured individuals. Yet, with most practices being keenly aware of your body is important and adapting movement to your skill level. However, regular practice has been shown to decrease back pain. The great thing about yoga and Pilates is that there are several types of classes catered to your specific skill and comfort level.

Aquafitness

Aquafitness is a dynamic, low-impact activity that usually involves the entire body in movement, including the abdominals, gluteal, and leg muscles. Since the movements are done in water, the water adds extra resistance to strengthen muscles but also minimizes the impact on your joints.

Aquafitness has been shown to be an effective management tool for those suffering from certain musculoskeletal injuries allowing them to keep active. Notably, people suffering from low back pain may particularly benefit from aquafitness or gently swimming in water. Contact your local community centre or gym to see if aquafitness is part of their regular programming.

Tai Chi

This Chinese martial art focuses on meditative, deep breathing combined with the methodical practice of slow movement enhancing mobility and balance among those who practice the art. Tai chi is known to have major health benefits – even for those with back pain. Tai chi can improve pain and function while decreasing the likelihood of chronic pain. It is a safe and effective activity for those experiencing long-term back pain symptoms.

Other activities you may want to consider are low-impact cardiovascular exercises such as walking or striding on the elliptical machine. There are always alternatives to staying active, even when you experience pain. Some of these can even help relieve the pain.


The wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage encourages you to improve your overall health by making exercise a part of your daily routine. If you want to learn more about managing your health with exercise, contact our clinic today at 905-427-3202.

 

 

With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association.

Suffering from Lower Back Pain? Give Yoga a Try!

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yoga to relieve back pain

If you suffer from lower back pain, the relief you’ve been looking for may be a little farther than the medicine cabinet but as close as your local community centre or yoga studio.

With so many of us spending an increasing amount of time hunched over a computer keyboard, it’s not surprising that our back often suffers. While it may be difficult to fight the urge to reach for a quick-fix in the form of pain-numbing pills, medication only offers short-term relief without solving the problem.

Aside from headaches, low back pain is one of the most common complaints of Canadians today. In addition to stress-related causes, this pain may also be due to overuse or injuries such as those occurring after rigorous physical activity, or a mild-to-serious car accident.

Together with chiropractic, yoga offers another way to prevent low back pain by strengthening your core muscles.

Yoga consists of an extensive set of exercises (or poses) designed to promote muscle strength, flexibility and proper breathing. It has been studied as a treatment for lower back pain; carpal tunnel syndrome; osteoarthritis of the hands; depression; asthma; hypertension; and many more conditions.

There are various poses which can help relieve low back pain, and even just a few minutes of yoga on a regular basis can reduce pain and strengthen your core abdominal muscles.

As well as strengthening core muscles, yoga is also helpful if there are psychological factors involved in your back pain. The act of doing these poses promotes relaxation and calmness, which relieves the mental stress and anxiety that might have eventually lead to more back pain.

In addition to the mind-body connection, yoga also focuses on the spine.

In accordance with Dr. Noble and Dr. Fera’s chiropractic principles, many of the body’s aches and pains can be attributed to the misalignment of vertebrae. Yoga is a proven natural way to decrease your back pain, strengthen your core, and improve your overall sense of well-being. Doing yoga properly and having regular chiropractic care ensures a reduction of pain and treatment.

Yoga can be an effective and gentle tool to help manage your low back pain. Its many benefits include relief from pain, stress and anxiety – it’s also fun and challenging!

Yoga can help you reduce muscle tension, increase flexibility and strength while improving your balance. Warm up before trying yoga, as you want to help your back pain, not make it worse.

Here is a list of yoga poses that are great for beginners and can be done at home! Always listen to your body and do not continue a pose if it is painful. If you’re unsure if yoga is right for you or feel pain once you try it, talk to your chiropractor.

Downward Dog strengthens the shoulders, core, back and legs while promoting back flexibility.

Warrior Pose helps separate hip and leg movement from pelvic and low back mobility.

Cobra Pose helps strengthen your shoulders and back while promoting flexibility in the upper back.

Pyramid Pose strengthens your legs and spine and teaches body awareness on how to hinge and move from the hip joint.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————-

The wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage encourages you to improve your overall health by making exercise a part of your daily routine. If you want to learn more about managing your health with exercise, contact our clinic today at 905-427-3202.

 

 

With content from the Ontario Chiropractic Association and the Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Initiative.